Stan: The Big Sur
Nothing can compare to the excitement of a big band. But one thing can impede the flow of the swing: over-arranging. Wiegand, an outstanding trombonist, has put together a studio-sized, brass-heavy band that reads (and often sounds) like a Kenton alumni roster of the L.A. studio scene. The charts here are too ambitious; even a drummer as exceptional as Chuck Flores cannot lighten the massed sonorities. As much as I'd like to see the project succeed, it sinks from its own weight. High points are solo efforts: Steve Wilkerson, Steve Huffsteter and, consistently, Wiegand.